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Pojo's Pokémon Card of the Day

 

Top 13 Pokémon Cards of Dragon Exalted:

#1 - Blend Energy

 

Date Reviewed: August 24, 2012

 

Ratings & Reviews Summary

Modified: 4.70
Limited: 4.80

Ratings are based on a 1 to 5 scale.
1 being the worst. 
3 ... average.  
5 is the highest rating.

Back to the main COTD Page

Combos With: See Below

Baby Mario
2010 UK National
Seniors
Champion

Blend Energy (Dragons Exalted)

And so we finally get to #1. Hopefully, this will surprise no-one. Blend Energy is a fantastic card that will help shape the format and will see play from now until it is rotated out of Modified. We chose to review both of them at once because they really are two sides of the same coin and should get identical reviews and ratings anyway. Either or both will be used a lot depending on what future releases bring us.

Blend Energy comes in two flavours. One provides Water, Lightning, Fighting and Metal Energy (but only one Energy at a time), while the other does the same for Grass, Fire, Psychic, and Dark. So every Type can use one or the other (Dragon Types still use the other Basic Energy for their attack costs). We’ve seen Energy that provides multiple Types many times before, of course, and it usually comes with a drawback of some kind: Multi couldn’t work with other Special Energy, Prism is only for Basics, Rainbow put a damage counter on when attached (often a more serious cost than it sounds). Blend has none of these downsides – you can attach as many as you want (well, up to four, anyway) to any kind of Pokémon without restriction. The balance of the card comes with the fact that it doesn’t provide complete Type coverage.

It’s no coincidence that Blend makes its first appearance in the set that also sees the debut of the Dragon Type. These Pokémon all have very strange attack costs that would probably make them unplayable if it wasn’t for the existence of Blend: Giratina-EX needs Grass and Psychic , for example, while Garchomp uses Fighting and Water. The uses for Blend Energy go far beyond this, however and allow for creative use of multiple Types in a deck: Terrakion is now much easier to use with Empoleon; Shaymin-EX can be splashed into Darkrai decks; and it makes Mew-EX’s Versatile Ability a lot more . . . ummm . . . versatile. As the format develops and new cards are released, expect players to come up with more and more decks which can make effective use of off-Type secondary attackers and techs.

Of course there are problems with an over-reliance on any Special Energy. You can only run four copies in your deck for one thing, they are not easy to search out or recover, and they are very vulnerable to Energy removal cards like Enhanced Hammer and attacks that discard Special Energy such as Garchomp DRX’s Mach Cut and Kyurem-EX’s Frozen Wings. Don’t let that put you off though. Blend Energy is fantastic for the game . . . just make sure your deck doesn’t completely fall apart without it.

Basically, if you don’t have a playset of both Blend Energy right now, then get them while they are cheap. They will be very playable for at least the next couple years and will probably end up becoming relatively expensive once the supply dries up and people want to hang on to their copies rather than trade them. Remember how Call Energy became a $5-10 card? Don’t get caught out again.

Rating

Modified: 4.75 (only misses the perfect score because of vulnerability to Energy removal effects)

Limited: 5 (the perfect card for limited. Now you can actually make a deck out of all those different Types you pulled)

virusyosh

Happy Friday, Pojo readers! Our reviews of the Top 10 cards from Dragons Exalted come to a close today, which means that we're reviewing the #1 card on our countdown today! Actually, the #1 card is two cards, but both have very similar functions. As you might expect, today's Cards of the Day are the Blend Energies.
 
There are two types of Blend Energy, one providing Grass, Fire, Psychic, and Darkness (henceforth referred to as "GRPD") and the other providing Water, Lightning, Fighting, and Metal (referred to as "WLFM"). Each of these Energy cards provide Colorless Energy while in the hand, but provide their four respective types when attached to a Pokemon, but only one unit of Energy at a time (think of them as sort of half of a Rainbow Energy). Unlike Prism, Rainbow, Multi, and other previous Energy types that provided multiple types of Energy, the Blend Energies have no drawbacks, and can be attached to Basics and Evolutions alike. The Blend Energies also work incredibly well with the new Dragon-type Pokemon, as each of them requires multiple Energy types to attack. Most notably, you'll probably see Blend GRPD used often in decks that have Hydreigon, and WLFM in decks that use Garchomp. Of course, the Blends can also be used in any deck that uses one or more of the types they provide with minimal drawback. Just remember that since they are Special Energy, you can only run 4 in a deck, and you can't get them back with cards like Super Rod. These minuscule drawbacks aside, expect to see the Blend Energies played for a long time, as they're two of the best Special Energies we've seen in quite some time.
 
Modified: 5/5 The Blend Energies are some of the first Energy cards to provide multiple types of Energy without drawback, and as such, are excellent cards that should always be considered in deckbuilding. Blend WLFM singlehandedly vaults Garchomp/Altaria into being a great deck as opposed to only a good one, while GRPD makes Hydreigon a legitimate attacker in Darkrai/Hydreigon. In addition to these two applications, Blends will probably be seen in many decks that utilize multiple types. Get ready to see a lot of these cards, as they're both very versatile and very powerful.
 
Limited: 5/5 Chances are you'll be running a Limited deck with multiple types, and the Blend Energies can do nothing but help here, as a single Energy providing multiple types can potentially free up other spots in your deck. They're obviously also useful for powering up the aforementioned Dragons here as well.


Otaku

At last, we come to the number one ranked and/or most anticipated card based from BW: Dragons Exalted and it is… actually two separate cards! That’s right, after thinking it over it became apparent that most of us thought Blend Energy GRPD was good… but so was Blend Energy WLFM. Since Energy cards have often proven less meaty for the purpose of a good review, it was decided the two different Blend Energy cards would be reviewed together as a two-for-one. It not only was an idea I agreed with, but was my suggestion; time to see if that should count as boasting or a confession!

Stats

First to be clear, Blend Energy GRPD and Blend Energy WLFM are indeed two separate, named cards. At the time I made the suggestion, I didn’t consider that it was reasonably easy to mistake them as two versions of the same card (but they aren’t) and that reviewing them together might confuse some readers. The Energy symbols are part of the card name, and it is already accepted practice to simply use the widely accepted single-letter shorthand for Types (Darkness, Fighting, Fire, Grass, Lightning, Metal, Psychic, and Water) when writing out those names. So yes, you can run up to four of each in the same deck. Since I listed all the others and there may be some new players reading this, Colorless is represented by a “C” and I’ve got no idea how one should represent the Dragon-Type in shorthand. No such Energy exists, but such shorthand is used for Pokémon Type as well and so there are still places in card text that would be represented by a [Dragon-Type Symbol] and used in common discussion. Note that D, R, and G are already in use, hence why I am not sure what letter to use; given that we have the card named N, that one would be a poor choice as well… so “A” or “O”? Maybe we should consider a non-alphanumeric character, then?

Second, let me remind my fellow players that a card provides Energy first and foremost according to the symbol it has in its upper right-hand corner: in both cases, it is a single Colorless Energy requirement. Anything else the Energy card provides is according to the effect text, not fundamental game mechanics. This would matter for effects that attach Energy from the hand, deck or discard pile; unless they work on any Energy or on Colorless Energy, they aren’t hitting either Blend Energy. It would also matter if the Special Energy card’s effect isn’t working, and we’ve had cards with effects to shut them off before.

Basic Energy cards all have a single symbol of the appropriate Energy Type in the upper right-hand corner, while some Special Energy can have other variations; currently legal would be Double Colorless Energy which displays (CC) in the upper right-hand corner, so unless another effect overrides this, it always counts as (CC), whether attached to the Pokémon, in hand, in the deck, in the discard pile, or in the lost zone. This is yet another thing most experienced players know, but don’t be surprised if you have to explain this to a novice or someone who just hadn’t dealt with the “correct” older cards.

Effects

Blend Energy GRPD provides one unit of Energy, but it simultaneously counts as Grass, Fire, Psychic, and Darkness Energy, while Blend Energy WLFM counts as one unit of Energy providing Water, Lightning, Fighting, and Metal. Since it is a single unit of Energy, it can only be used to meet one requirement for purposes of quantity however it still counts as and is providing multiple Types of Energy. You not only don’t need to specify, but you couldn’t have it provide only one of those Types even if you want it too; while attached, it counts as all.

Just to be clear, here are some examples. If an attack requires (RL) to be used, Blend Energy WLFM can count towards any of those requirements as its effect means it simultaneously provides Water, Lightning, Fighting, and Metal Energy. It only is one unit, so the Pokémon in question would need at least one more Energy attached, and the combination must satisfy all Type requirements concurrently. So Blend Energy WLFM and a Lightning Energy card or Blend Energy WLFM and a Fire Energy card would work, since Blend Energy WLFM can cover which ever requirement I lacked the basic Energy card for, but if I had Blend Energy WLFM and a second Energy that didn’t count as either of those two Types, then I couldn’t apply the same Blend Energy WLFM card to both requirements. Two copies of Blend Energy WLFM would work because I could apply one to each requirement. Lastly, if the effect then said to discard all (R) Energy cards, whether I used the Blend Energy WLFM to meet the (R) requirement or not, it always provides (R) while its effect is working and thus it would be discarded unless it specified basic (R) Energy cards: either Blend Energy is always considered a Special Energy card.

Usage

The two Blend Energy cards are clearly designed to help multi-Energy requiring decks to function more easily. The new Dragon-Type Pokémon almost all have attacks that require if not two different Energy Types in the same attack, then in each of two separate attacks. Even if they didn’t, other Pokémon have done it as well and splashing in off-Type Pokémon is a common (and important) strategy for Pokémon, and it is nice having greater flexibility instead of being stuck with the wrong basic Energy for your requirements. Rainbow Energy didn’t make the jump from HS-On to BW-On, though Prism Energy did; however it only works on Basic Pokémon while either Blend Energy works on all Stages.

The two Type combinations were either carefully designed based on the card pool, or the card pool was designed knowing these were coming. We currently have Hydreigon (BW: Dragons Exalted 97/124) that can move Energy cards that count as Darkness-Type around the field at will during a player’s own turn, and Klinklang (Black & White 76/114) that does the same with Energy that counts as Metal-Type, both via an Ability. In HS-On, the U.S. Nationals were won by a Klinklang deck that used Rainbow Energy and Prism Energy to allow the deck to run several different Types of Pokémon, providing tremendous opportunity. Since the HeartGold/SoulSilver block of sets weren’t designed with the future Black & White block of sets in mind, the split was almost certainly an intentional balancing agent, so that no one deck could easily access the best cards of any one Type. One can argue one Blend Energy is better than the other, but at least both decks have access to one, again keeping things relatively even.

There is a little more to it than that; in terms of Type themed support, right now Darkness is the strongest; remember, we are talking cards that specifically support Darkness-Type Pokémon. It is paired with Grass, Fire, and Psychic; while there are strong representatives of all three Types, decks built purely around those Types are markedly weaker than decks built around Darkness, Lightning, or Metal Energy. In fact, I haven’t seen an especially good Fire or Grass deck lately, and am unsure if we’ll see many in the coming format.

Lightning-Type decks have been strong since the shift to HS-On, and will continue to be a presence in BW-On. The support isn’t as plentiful as that of Darkness-Types, though, so it gets Fighting, Water, and Metal… Metal which is no slouch either, Fighting which is good but largely due to hitting Weakness on the Darkness and Lightning-Type Pokémon, and Water which (going into BW-On) will finally show some solid hybrid-Type decks.

The common Type/Weakness/Resistance pairings also reflect these cards fairly well. Most Darkness Pokémon resist Psychic Pokémon, who are usually weak to themselves or Darkness-Type Pokémon; putting them alongside Darkness-Types helps them more than it hurts. Adding Fighting in would have overpowered things given what has done well and is expected to do well, so it is placed so that Fighting hurts Darkness, but two of Fighting’s three most likely Weaknesses (Psychic and Grass) are present alongside Darkness on Blend Energy GRPD. Fire just sort of seems to be there, perhaps to ensure it is opposite of Water?

As for going the other direction, Lightning-Type Pokémon are usually Weak to Fighting-Types, and are even Resisted by some. That isn’t the thing keeping Lightning decks out of the number one slot; Darkness-Type decks and possibly Dragon-Type decks behind that. Blend Energy WLFM provides access to some useful Dragon-Type Pokémon as well as the Fighting-Type Pokémon that are most threatening to Darkness-Types. Access to Fighting-Type Pokémon also helps Water-Types, since their big concern are the Lightning-Type Pokémon right now (though many Water-Type Pokémon are also either Grass or Metal Weak). Keeping Metal-Type Pokémon from having as easier of access to Darkness-Type Pokémon, as stated, seems like something done intentionally.

So for Modified, expect Blend Energy GRPD or Blend Energy WLFM to show up in a lot of decks; Double Colorless Energy and Prism Energy are likely to be as common if not a little more so, and some decks will run neither or both Blend Energy, but as a whole both Types will see significant play. In Unlimited, right now the format is dominated by decks that win or lock things down first turn, and still have Rainbow Energy if they should need to worry about Energy Types; if their grip loosens or you’re playing at a less cutthroat level, the two Blend Energy cards will find niche usage. There are actually more sources of easing multi-Color requirements in this format than I care to list!

In Limited, it all depends on what you pull; for the most part I expect that either Blend Energy will be a must run, but it is possible you’ll pull one but get Pokémon that need only one (or less) Energy-Type that it contains, meaning it is no more useful to you than the appropriate basic Energy card.

Ratings

Unlimited: 1.25/5

Modified: 4.5/5

Limited: 4.75/5

Summary

If I were to rank these two separately, the Unlimited and Limited scores would remain the same, but I’d add a quarter of a point to Blend Energy GRPD and deduct one from Blend Energy WLFM, at least based on my current play testing. The former just comes in more useful than the latter, but still a half point of difference is quiet close. Some decks legitimately won’t need them, but a hefty chunk will be running one or the other, and some wouldn’t really work without them; there just isn’t the room to run the necessary basic Energy card equivalents. For those wondering, I ranked Blend Energy GRPD and Blend Energy WLFM at second place on my own list.

Please check out my eBay sales by clicking here. It’s me whittling away at about two decades worth of attempted collecting, spanning action figures, comic books, TCGs, and video games. Exactly what is up is a bit random. Pojo.com is in no way responsible for any transactions; Pojo is merely doing me a favor by letting me link at the end of my reviews.

Jebulous Maryland Player Blend Energy (both)
 
So there are two Blend energies.  They are both special energies and can provide 1 (at a time) of 4 specific energy types.  Blend GFPD provides Grass, Fire, Psychic, or Dark.  Blend WLFM provides Water, Lightning, Fighting, or Metal.
 
I believe these were made in mind of supporting the new Dragon type Pokemon.  The new Dragons have attacks that require different types of energy, so these can help if you have one type attached and want a different type with the Blend energy.  Also, the Blend energy can help decks that run multiple types (like Eevee), if that kind of deck is your thing.
 
Now we can talk about how these cards are going to be used to there maximum potential.  Off the top of my head, Hyreigon (just did that
review) is an example.  Its attack uses both Dark and Psychic, which one of the Blend energies provide.  So Darkrai EX can move the Blend energy around as a Dark, but then they can count as a Psychic if you have all Dark energies attached to Hydreigon.  Klinklang can manipulate the other Blend energy, so there are possibilities of combining Klinklang with those other types.  Unfortunately (my biased
opinion) they did not included Fire and Lightning together (I guess that would have made Rayquaza EX and non EX more sought after).  The Blend energies can also work with Mew EX, since it has the ability to use other Pokemon's attacks.  The Blend energies increase the amount of attacks you can use.
 
Blend Energy does have the weakness of being a Special energy.  There are attacks out there that discard them (Kyurem EX is one for example), as well as trainers (Enhanced Hammer).  But then again, I believe there is a Pokemon that powers up its attack by the number of special energies in your opponent's discard.
 
In the new format, we have lost special Dark and Metal energies.
These sort of are a replacement.  Though they don't have the extra effects, the versatility of Blend energy makes it good.  Plus, not many people were using Special Dark and Metal (you can't Dark Patch Special Dark, and Durant is kind of hiding, for the moment...foreshadowing? I don't know).
 
For now the Blend Energies are welcomed.  What kind of problems they'll cause, we'll find out soon.
 
Modified: 4.5/5
Limited: 4.5/5
Combo's With: ...


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